Little do we realize, but those days when we eat a bit too much or move less than what we should can really catch up with us. Cheating our health has become commonplace with all the exceptions and excuses made. I'm all about the 80/20 rule. If you stay on top of your health and fitness by eating right 80% of the time, you should be able to indulge (wisely) 20% of the time. Staying on top of your health means not caving to unhealthy food choices and staying more active than you normally would most days of the week. Indulging wisely means having one piece of cake, not three. It could also mean spending quality time with friends at a time we'd normally work out. We all need that healthy balance!

That said, hitting that 80% can take time. While I don't really like to focus on calories (I think they make people crazy), obesity - particularly creeping obesity is a problem. Knowing how many calories are in a particular food, or how many calories can be burned doing an activity can be a real eye-opener, and a good way to start gaining perspective in the weight management game. With that in mind, here is a list of 15 ways to burn calories.

Here are 15 fun ways to burn calories:

  1. 10 minutes of jumping jacks burns 51 calories.
  2. 20 minutes of playing catch burns 86 calories.
  3. 20 minutes of stretching burns 90 calories.
  4. 30 minutes of raking (okay, not always fun) burns 135 calories.
  5. 30 minutes of swimming laps at a moderate pace burns 207 calories.
  6. 30 minutes of easy jogging burns 238 calories.
  7. 60 minutes of beginner pilates burns 252 calories.
  8. 30 minutes of moderate cycling (12 - 14 mph) burns 297 calories.
  9. 30 minutes of running at 6mph burns 342 calories.
  10. 60 minutes of power yoga burns 351 calories.
  11. 30 minutes of running at 7mph burns 391 calories.
  12. 60 minutes of hiking burns 405 calories.
  13. 60 minutes of golf, carrying your clubs, burns 414 calories.
  14. 60 minutes of Zumba burns 540 calories.
  15. 60 minutes of vigorous Spinning burns 774 calories.

*Calculations were based on a 155 pound person. If you weigh more, you burn more. If you weigh less, you burn less.

The point? Every little bit counts. For Friday, creative ways to tweak your diet.

Need some motivation to get healthy this month? Hang out with me on my Facebook page.